Eye Read Your Messages


keira_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Eye Read Your Messages
Synopsis There's no signal to receive text messages in the Dead Zone. But Richard Ray's home now.
Date May 22, 2018

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office

CRAZYEX: I found Danko. Where are you?

CRAZYEX: Fuck man, it's been three days and you aren't answering. I can't wait any longer on this.

CRAZYEX: If I die, it's your fault.

CRAZYEX: Last chance motherfucker, I'm moving tonight.


CRAZYEX: Why the fuck do you have to be gone NOW?! Fucking seriously, I don't know what to do!

CRAZYEX: Holy shit Richard this fucking hypocrite is Evo, and his blood is fucking black!

CRAZYEX: Fuck it, I'm taking this motherfucker to SESA. Check the fucking news soon.

CRAZYEX: Shit. Don't know how, but someone found us. If I don't make it out of here, I want you to know that he's really fucking alive, and he's Evo, and his ability has something to do with healing.

The last text is dated May 10th. Almost two weeks before Richard Ray got back into the Safe Zone, and he’d only just checked his phone today — he’d grown accustomed to communicating by radio rather than phone, and forgot briefly that cell service even existed still.

Nothing since. Not in the news, not on his phone.

“Shit,” he mutters, thumb tapping a text right back to her.

REDKING: Just got back into town. Check in. Status Update?

No answer.

But not for the reasons Richard might vaguely worry about — surely he’s not worried about her, but he’s probably worried about her potential capture and talking. Or maybe he is actually worried about her.

Either way, she doesn’t bother using texts to respond back. Those won’t make her feelings known quite so well as talking to him in person, and Keira always was much more fond of talking in person to talking over phone or text.

Which is why the tiny one-eyed shapeshifter can be seen on cameras, slipping out of her luxury work van driven by one of her boys, and stomping her way up to the front doors of Raytech, flinging the bulletproof glass doors open and stomping into the lobby.

The receptionist is offered a withering glare. “Tell Richard Ray that Keira is here and needs to talk to him.” She hates his stupid new last name. She hates a lot of things right now. She is righteously angry, and she probably won’t leave unless Richard placates her or she is escorted out.

She’s given a rather dubious look from the receptionist at the desk, who nevertheless dutifully sends this message up to the office of the newly-returned CEO. To her surprise, a response is swiftly forthcoming.

It’s not long after that she’s escorted up a floor and to the office of the man in question, one of the security guards opening the door and gesturing her in.

Keira,” says Richard, rising from behind the desk, eyes shadowed from a lack of sleep as they widen, “Jesus Christ, I thought you were dead.”

Once in the office, Keira closes the distance between her and Richard, leaning across the desk….

And slapping him, as hard as she can. Which, despite her diminutive size, is pretty hard. If it weren’t for his stupid stubble, he might get a bruise from that one. Yeah, she’s more than a little mad — and apparently missing an eye, if the soft cloth eye patch over her left eye is any indication.

“I almost was, you motherfucker. I had one Sasha fuckin’ Kozlow tell me at one point that it might’ve been kinder t’let me die.” Now that the slap has gotten out of the way, the tension seems to be slowly draining from Keira’s frame — which is much more uncovered than it was the last time they spoke.

“I found him, and I didn’t want him to slip outta my grasp, so I moved.” She frowns, sinking down into one of the chairs opposite the desk. “I had enough backup, I thought. So I grabbed him. And it was good, but I was a fuckin’ moron and wanted to talk to him.” She clenches her fists. “You should’ve been there.”

The palm of her hand cracks audibly across his face, and Richard recoils with a grimace, one hand coming up to rub against the side of his face. “I told you about Danko so you could stay clear, for fuck’s sake, I didn’t think you’d try and capture him! No offense, Keira, but you aren’t really in the man’s league… I’ve read the fucker’s dossier, he’s probably killed more people than you’ve ever met.”

His brow knitting as he looks down at her, still standing, “What happened?”

“Oh, he was fuckin’ easy to take out. He’s a sad, washed up little man, hiding from his piss-poor choices on Staten Island like a pathetic little rat. He wasn’t a problem.” Keira glares, one-eyed, at Richard.

“Caught him goin’ to an ammo shop. Cut a deal with the owner, changed into him and had three of my boys in the shop with me, another one on lookout. Had my boy Jerry, rest his soul, take him down with some ketamine on some blow darts. Danko shot th’poor guy on the way down and damn near deafened us, but otherwise, he was easy.” The tattooed woman frowns, leaning back in her chair and crossing her legs.

She still gets a kick out of that, after the couple of days she spent with a dead leg.

“Took ‘im to a warehouse. Just wanted to freak him out a little bit, since he was in a fuckin’ K-hole. So I put on a mask and tried to give him a few cuts t’remember me by. S’how I found out that he heals.” She sits up a little bit at this, becoming a bit more animated. “His blood, Richard. It won’t even stay out. It all goes right back int’ his body, even th’shit that soaks into clothes. And shit won’t stay in him — gets pushed out when he heals.” She apparently experimented a little when she found out what he could do. Who except the squeamish wouldn’t? “Told him nobody would shed a tear if he died.

“In any case. I heard my outside man dyin’. Horrible shit, he tried to shoot I think, then…” She shakes her head. “Someone in FRONTLINE armor with orange spider eyes came to rescue him. Ripped my boys t’shreds with a wrist blade.” The one-eyed woman frowns, shakes her head. “Told me that they’d cry an ocean if Danko died. Took my eye,” she points at the eye patch, “and broke my back.”

She looks pretty good for someone who got her back broken a week or so ago.

There’s a lot to cover there. An awful lot. “You played with him, that was a mistake,” Richard says with a shake of his head, “This guy isn’t just some gang-banger, he’s a prof…”

Then he trails off, staring at her. “Orange spider eyes. Horizon armor. Are you sure about that, Keira?” A hand rests on the desk as he leans forward, intensity ramping up sharply, “Are you absolutely sure?”

“He was in a fuckin’ K-hole, with more ready for him if I needed it. I had enough fuckin’ Ketamine to kill a fuckin’ elephant on hand, I’ve heard the stories about Emile Danko.” Keira glares at Richard. She’s not always smart, but she’s also not STUPID about her dubious choices.

“I’m very fuckin’ sure that I watched three of my four men get sliced to hell and back by some motherfucker in Horizon armor with orange spider eyes, yes. I’m extremely sure that a person in that fuckin’ armor picked me up, ripped my eye out with their wrist blade, then bent me over their fuckin’ knee and snapped my back like a stick.” Keira crosses her arms.

“It’s not really something you forget very easily, y’know?” She’s already had a few nightmares about that mysterious figure.

“What the fuck.”

Richard draws back from the desk, straightening slowly to his full height, attention drifting more inward than to the woman across from him. “Why are they operating on Staten Island,” he mutters, turning to pace a bit behind the desk, “What the hell are they even doing on this coast? Danko, that makes three, and the fourth…?”

Well, there’s only one other mysterious resurrection that he’s aware of that’s occurred lately.

“You found a healer, I assume?” He looks back to her, a brow lifting. “You’re not in a wheelchair, so… that’s a rare ability.”

Keira frowns up at Richard, watching with an inquisitive expression on her face. She idly reaches up, running a finger along the eye patch as he speaks. Somehow, she feels like all of this is part of something much bigger than her ill-fated personal redemption arc.

“Yeah. Went t’Elmhurst. Fuckin’ Sasha Kozlow healed me t’start.” She grimaces. “Left me with a dead leg and some awful back pain. So I found someone else. Crucible has a healer. I hired him on th’side, we smoked some pot, he fixed me the rest of th’way.” She’s waiting on a blood test to make sure she’s not diseased or something, but otherwise she’s happy with her experience.

She lifts up the eye patch, revealing the empty eye socket beneath. She keeps the eyelid closed to the best of her ability, but it still looks odd and deflated. “Couldn’t do anythin’ about this, though.”

She replaces the patch, frowning at the man. “Any way your fancy tech company can make a bionic eye?”

“Kozlow. He’ll save your life, but you won’t like it, yeah,” Richard’s jaw tightens slightly, one hand dropping to the desk, fingertips drumming there briefly, “Good to know. About Crucible’s healer. I might need one at some point.”

The sight of that empty eye socket doesn’t shake him as he looks back at her, one shoulder lifting slightly in a shrug, “More than likely. I’ll shoot an email to my brother and see— bionic augmentation is one of his side hobbies.”

He frowns, “Did s— did the one who attacked you say anything? Voice, male or female? Any unusual turns of phrase?”

Well, that was pretty easy. “That’d be awesome. I might stop asking you out if you got me somethin’ like that.” There’s no denying that she would like to look like a normal person again. Funny, she spent so much of her early life standing out…now, she wants to blend in again.

“Don’t tell anyone, but… I dunno if it was Kozlow or the healer from the Crucible,” she avoids using Jesus’ name for now, “But my ability doesn’t work anymore, either.” That would be why she’s got skin showing today, unlike last time when the only exposed skin was her head. “S’just…gone.”

At least she has something in common with Richard, not that she knows that.

“It was a female. Asked t’see her face, she said that I didn’t get to see her face and live.” She scowls. “Look, I’m not as useful as I used t’be,” she gestures at herself, as though being her and not somebody else is not a good thing — for her, it isn’t. “But I kinda got a little personally invested in this shit. I nearly died for this shit. I nearly spent the rest of m’life in a wheelchair or a leg brace. I lost my eye and my ability over this.”

There’s a pause, her face darkening slightly. “So I’m here t’fuckin’ help, whether you like it or not. I’m done fuckin’ around, Richard. I’ve got boys scoutin’ around, and I’m rampin’ my operations up and hiring more people.” She frowns, looking toward the window. “Don’t exclude me.”

“I thought so.” Richard’s tone is rather grim as she answers his question, his head shaking ever so slightly, “I’m… sorry about your ability. We’re working on some medical treatments that should assist in damaged abilities, but they aren’t perfected yet. I’ll let you know when they are.”

He looks over towards the window, then back to her. “They’re called the Horsemen,” he says seriously, “I just got back from scouting their operation in the Pacific Northwest Dead Zone— you might’ve seen the news article when they hit that Yamagato shipment. I don’t know why they’re operating this far outside their territory, but I’m not pleased by it.”

“Not one bit.”

The Horsemen.

“Well, they’re involved with Emile Danko somehow,” Keira grumbles, glaring out of the window. “That’s more’n enough to leave me pretty fuckin’ displeased by their presence here.” She turns her gaze toward Richard, frowning.

“Keep me in th’loop for th’power shit. Dunno who th’fuck t’blame for this, though I get the feelin’ it’s the Russian I should be mad at.” She frowns. Well, without the cover of her ability, she’ll just have to compensate in other ways.

After a moment, she pauses, remembering herself. “Saw th’news, by th’way.” She glances to Ray, a softer expression crossing her features. “I’m sorry.”

“Thank you.” Richard drops into his chair again, leaning back and bringing one hand up, rubbing over his eyes, “It’s been a shit-show from the minute I got back. If I find out who carried out the hit on her…”

He trails off, and then gestures with a hand, “I’ll look into that eye for you.”

“I mean it when I say, if you need anything, I’m more’n happy to help.” For once, Keira is completely sincere in offering her help to Raytech — though she’ll still expect to be paid, because that’s how she’s always worked.

Just as she’ll probably try to pay Ray for the eye, even despite personal feelings that he owes her an eye after she acted on the information he gave her.

“Thanks,” she replies, nodding slowly. “Bonus points if it does cool shit.” She offers a faint smile. “Always did like th’idea of X-Ray vision. Or night vision.”

After a moment, she turns her one-eyed gaze back to the window. “So y’know, I know you wanted me t’stay away, but…I kinda felt like I had to do it, y’know?” A pause. “I hate what I used to be…I suppose I have you t’thank for kinda joggin’ me out of that, even if I still don’t like that you chloroformed me.”

“I practice tough love sometimes,” is Ray’s deadpan response to that, “It would’ve worked just fine if your brother hadn’t tried to be helpful. Which…” He trails off, giving her a serious look, “If you haven’t gone to see him yet, you should. His kid was Remi’s…. he’s got to be hurting right now. I’m sure he could use family.”

A faint twitch of his lips, “No idea what else it’ll do. My brother’s a lunatic. He’s good at what he does, though.”

Keira frowns. Oh. “He came t’see me in th’hospital, but that was before.” She turns her one-eyed gaze down to the ground. That’ll have to be her next stop, then — if nothing else, to give him a hug and let him know that she’s okay, even if the mother of his daughter isn’t.

The mention of the eye prompts a faint smile — she personally likes the sound of it, but she’s just a bit excited over the notion of having a cool bionic eye.

“In any case. Not much left t’say, I guess.” She stands, adjusting her outfit. It’s a little weird, showing off her tattoos again, but it’s kind of nice being able to do it. “I’m hirin’ people. If you need anything, let me know.” A pause, and she places a hand on the desk. “And keep me in th’loop. Seriously, let me help you for once.”

“If you want to keep an eye on Staten…” Richard brings one shoulder up in a shrug, “I’m not going to say ‘no’. There’s a lot going out there beyond the Safe Zone and I think I should start paying attention to it.”

A faint smile, but he’s looking even more tired now, his head shaking, “Glad you’re alive, Key.”

“Already on that,” she replies. She’s keeping those little birds of hers out — even more so now. She’s ramping her operations up, and that requires knowing what’s going on with Staten. “I’ll let you know if I find anything interestin’. You do th’same, hear?”

Turning, she makes her way toward the door, pausing to glance over her shoulder at Richard. “Thanks, Richard. You take care and keep in touch.” She offers him a faint smile in return.

Then, she makes her exit.

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